Words: David Evans | Photography: Graham Watson | Date:
It might seem odd to fans, but riders rarely apportion blame for crashes in their post-race interviews – it’s only when a crash is caused by an egregious error or when emotions are running particularly hot that a professional will out another professional’s mistake in the press. Most of the time, crashes are seen as part and parcel of racing, something to be endured rather than something to dwell on. What use is gesticulation and shouting when the race is leaving you behind?
Such was the case when Chris Froome, wearing yellow, crashed in the final 10km of Stage 6 in the Critérium du Dauphiné. By the time the camera moto caught up with the crash, the riders involved were already remounting their bikes and setting off in pursuit of the peloton, who had eased their pace out of respect for the fallen yellow jersey.
Froome finished the stage with bloodied skin showing through the rips in his jersey and shorts. Froome’s crash was, like the hundreds of other crashes in professional racing each season, part of the drama of road racing – and something that could happen to any rider, whether they’re a pro or not.
This is why Rapha provides a crash repair service – our kit looks after us, so we believe we should look after our kit. Through stitching, patches and, in some cases, replacement panels, the crash repair service can bring damaged garments back up to their original levels of quality and performance.
Chris was wearing a pair of Team Sky Pro Lightweight Bib Shorts when he fell heavily on his left side. The tear over his left was four inches long, and stretched across two panels. After the soigneurs laundered the shorts, they sent them back to us for repairs – you can see the results in the photos in this blog.
We’ve held on to the shorts – although we normally return crash repairs within a fortnight – and will be on display in the Rapha Cycle Club London. Chris is now preparing to ride the Vuelta a España, with a couple new pairs of Team Sky Pro Lightweight Bibs.